The 4th of July is right around the corner, and you know what that means...
IT'S TIME TO EAT ALL THE FOOD AND GRILL ANYTHING (AND EVERYTHING) YOU POSSIBLY CAN!
It's a day for spending time with those you love, and even those you don't...
Let's face it, most of us all have the "Uncle Eddie" somewhere in our family tree.
Here's some things going on in good ole' K-Town this coming weekend and through July 4th:
Saturday July 1st--Market Square Farmers Market from 9am-2pm. A GREAT way to get those cookout goodies while supporting local farmers and artisans!
Saturday July 1st--The start of Downtown Knoxville's "Find Waldo" Scavenger Hunt. This family friendly (and basically any age) event runs from the 1st through the 31st, where you pick up your passport from participating venues, collect stamps, and explore downtown. *Side note: I'd also HIGHLY recommend trying out my other new business, SEEK KNOXVILLE, to do a different type of scavenger hunt NOT involving Waldo ;)
Monday July 3rd--City People presents "Red, White and Blue Coast" at Blue Coast Bar and Grill from 5:30pm-8pm. I personally recommend this event due to the fact that I (owner Lauren Quinn) am a board member of this fantastic non-profit called City People that operates in downtown Knoxville. You do, however, have to be a member to attend this event, so I'd suggest signing up to be a member ahead of time, or you can simply sign up to be a member at the door upon arrival. City People membership gets you all sorts of great benefits and discounts from numerous downtown businesses, so there's no reason NOT to sign up!
(Now for the big day!)
Tuesday July 4th--James White's Fort "Celebration of the Declaration of Independence" from 10am-11am. Admission is free (yay!) and you're sure to get your fill of historical information in a short amount of time.
Tuesday July 4th--Fourth of July on Mabry's Hill from around 6pm-whenever(?). To ensure a high quality event and overcrowding, Mabry-Hazen house has limited the amount of tickets sold (which also cost 60 bucks for anyone 12+) to 200, so definitely get those as soon as you can if you've been thinking about going! They'll have a historic home tour starting at 6pm, dinner served at 7:30, and alcohol is BYOB! And the best part? All the joys of viewing the downtown fireworks show (yes, you can see it from the house!) without all the traffic!!
Tuesday July 4th--Volunteer Princess Fireworks Cruise, with boarding starting at 6pm, cruising from 6:30pm-9pm, and dockside for (what feels like a private viewing) fireworks show from 9pm-10:30pm. For just $80 for adults and $40 for children, you'll get champagne, "pre-dinner" appetizers, and then a scrumptious 4-course dinner followed by dessert. A cash bar is also available, so come happy, hungry and ready for some amazing fireworks!
Tuesday July 4th--The "big to-do" in downtown Knoxville is none other than "The Festival on the 4th" at World's Fair Park. From 4pm-10pm, Knoxville's great downtown green space will be turned into a celebration including entertainment, like the KSO (Knoxville Symphony Orchestra) free concert from 8pm-10pm accompanying the magnificent fireworks show, a kids zone, food, and much more. Fireworks start at about 9:42pm, the event is rain or shine, and they ask for no pets, alcohol, tents, or canopies.
If you aren't planning on venturing out for one of the busiest days in the year for Knoxville, and are in need of some delicious, good home-cooked recipes, take a browse through the list below to find one (or more!) that suits your fancy!
4th of July/July Fourth (personal pick) best and favorite recipes:
Start things off with some thirst quenching drinks like Lemonade Iced Tea, Blueberry Lemonade, Boozy Adult Sno-Cones, or a Watermelon Blueberry Cooler!
Satisfy your hungry guests with some appetizers before the "main event food" is ready with things like Pigs n' a Blanket Stars, Skinny Summer Crab Dip, Red White and Blue Potato Salad, or BBQ Pork "Cupcakes".
For the main course, try some things like Spicy Grilled Shrimp, Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken, Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs, Strip Steak with Rosemary Butter, or Hot n' Sweet Baby Back Ribs.
Then top your previous masterpieces off with some decadent desserts such as a Fruity Flag Cake, Red White and Blueberry Trifle, Peach Plum Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuits, or Crispy Treat Cheesecake Bars.
**Do you have any favorite family/friend Fourth of July traditions, celebrations, or recipes? Let me know about them by commenting below!
May 7th, 2017 was a day for the record books right here in Knoxville.
It was the day of the first ever Knoxville Food and Wine Yard Party at The Mill and Mine on West Depot Avenue, filled with some of the most talented and renowned chefs, bakers, beer enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs and more that our scruffy little city has to offer. The Mill and Mine is a gorgeous and picturesque setting on its own, but add in some of the most beautiful pastries and baked goods around, and some of the most tasty and delightfully picture perfect "chef's table" plates hand crafted by our talented downtown Knoxville chefs, and well, it was simply a day to remember.
So enjoy yourselves as you look over these attractive pictures and explanations of some of the highlights of the day, and leave any comments with your thoughts, questions, or praises below!
The whole event as accompanied by ear pleasing music from the Old City Buskers, cornhole and jenga provided by The Mill and Mine out on their beautifully landscaped and arranged outdoor patio, and just good times all around.
With ticket prices at just $60 a person, and the option to buy them online ahead of time, or even at the door, the amount of food, drinks and entertainment you get in a total of 7 hours (should you stay that long) is definitely a great value for the price.
I cannot wait to attend again (hopefully) next year, and hope those of you who hadn't heard of this, or were skeptical to go, join in next time as well!
Here at East TN Tours, we couldn't be more thrilled than to come up with one more way to give folks a chance to experience our great city of Knoxville!
Seek Knoxville is now the first EVER continually run and locally owned and operated scavenger hunt in downtown Knoxville. You will figure your way through our clue booklet, filled with puzzles, riddles and ciphers to make your way to the final destination and obtain a prize! And don't worry, we haven't excluded those who may not be "smart phone savvy", as your entire scavenger hunt is all pen and paper based. (Side note--we hope to be launching a totally digital hunt in the near future, as well! )
Seek Knoxville is basically your own "self guided tour" through our picturesque downtown, where you'll see sights you may be familiar with, and some (hopefully) new ones you've never been to, or never even knew were there!
We've made this scavenger hunt from the ground up, concocting the various brain twisters with historical information in mind, and making it flow in such a way that you can get a wonderful overview of our lovely downtown during your time Seeking.
Our Seeks will be perfect for birthday parties, church outings, team building, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate events, anniversaries, dates and much more!
And as a super special bonus for reading this blog, you can type in code
when checking out to receive a 15% discount on your booking now through the end of June, 2017!
We hope to see you Seeking Knoxville soon, and finding more ways to explore the area!
Every March 17th, even if you're not Irish, you pretend like you are!
We spend the day preparing for a night we probably (and maybe even hope) we won't remember.
Now you might not feel completely enthralled and excited about reading these St. Patrick's Day fun facts, but trust me, you'll be the life of the drunken party when you can spew out these random tid-bits and impress your friends!
--Did you know St. Patrick wasn't even born in Ireland?! And his real name isn't even Patrick, for that matter. He was likely born around 387 A.D and was born as Maewyn Succat in Britain (which was then part of the Roman Empire). Legend has it that he was sold into slavery when he was only 16, was held in captivity for 6 years, becoming religious during that time, escaped back to Britain, became an ordained Priest and decided to go by Patrick, and then started his mission converting Irish pagans to Christianity.
--St. Patrick's day is celebrated on the date of his death, which is believed to be somewhere around 460 A.D. All this time many people believe this day marks his birthday, sanctification, etc. But nope, it's the day of his death!
--Did St. Patrick really get the snakes out of Ireland? Much to disbelief, he did not. There were never actually any snakes in Ireland at that time, and some say it's more of a metaphor for him driving out paganism from the country.
--Was the shamrock really used by St. Patrick for his teachings? While it can't be proven or disproved, it's believed he used the three sides of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity--God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
--St. Patrick's day was first celebrated by people of Irish decent in Boston in 1737, as a way to keep their heritage alive. Ireland didn't even start celebrating the holiday until 1903! Some historians even credit America solely for the popularity of this holiday, where it's thought the massive festivities in America are what lead to pubs and bars in Ireland to open on the holiday in the 1960's.
Alright, enough with the "history nerd" stuff...here's some delicious and interesting St. Patrick's Day FOOD facts!:
--Guinness should take the Guinness world record for the most beer ever drank on a holiday (see what I did there?). Worldwide consumption of Guinness almost triples on St. Patrick's Day, from 5.5 million pints on a regular day to 13 million pints. Cheers to 150 pints per second!
--Corned beef eating was actually invented by Irish people living in New York, not even native Irish people started that! That might explain why in the U.S. over 26 billion pounds of beef and 2 billion pounds of cabbage are produced during this time of the year. And the majority of that beef comes from Texas, and most of that cabbage comes from California.
--And that original Guinness Brewery in Dublin? Yea, it has a 9,000 year lease...
--And that oh so delicious Bailey's Irish Cream we (all) love was launched in Ireland in the 1970's, is now the most popular liqueur in the world.
--"A side of mashed, please." If you didn't know this already, most everything in Irish cuisine centers around potatoes. Whether they're mashed, boiled, roasted, smashed, fried, or however you eat em', they're delicious. Chef's at the best Irish restaurants in the world will tell you no meal, even the fanciest, 5-star one, isn't complete without them. Sadly, The Great Potato Famine that struck during the mid 1800's killed nearly one million people during a span of five years.
So how can you get your Irish on in our scruffy city of Knoxville?
Here's a great list of events, festivals, and more going on in our green little city!:
--The big, general "Knox Shamrock Fest" or "2017 Irish Festival" kicks off Friday March 17th at 3pm and runs until 7pm, starting again Saturday March 18th at 10am in Market Square, ending at 4pm. This two day, festivity filled festival is perfect for the entire family, and features live music, inflatables, slides, obstacle courses, a carousal, food vendors and more, and promises to be a lucky time!
*Find out more information HERE
-Friday, March 17th, starting at 7pm is the ever-popular Knoxville St. Patrick's Day Parade. The first ever city-sanctioned parade in Knoxville was way back in 1869. Proceeds from this event benefit Catholic Charities of East Tennesse and the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation.
*To find more about this year's parade, click HERE
--The Old City is also hosting a Pub Crawl starting after the parade at 8pm. For just a $10 wristband fee, you can get into 7 different Old City venues, with proceeds benefiting the Historic Old City Association.
*To find out more, check out their Facebook event page HERE
--East Tennessee Kidney Foundation's Lucky Kidney Run happens on Saturday March 18th at 10am, and features a 6k and 2k course. These two different runs go through Market Square and Gay Street and surrounding streets, and promises to be a fun (and healthy) time in Knoxville
*Read more about these fun runs HERE
--And last, but DEFINITELY not least, you can hop on one of downtown Knoxville's most exciting, tasty and delightful food tours our "scruffy city" has to offer!
We've got our yummy five restaurant, three hour Chef's Table food tours running Friday March 17th and Saturday March 18th from 2-5pm.
You can also cure your hangover blues with a Sunday Bountiful Brunch food tour on Sunday March 19th from 1:30-3:30pm, joining us on a three restaurant, two hour brunch extravaganza.
Any of these Knoxville food tours would be a wonderful addition to your planned St. Patrick's day events, and space will soon fill up, so book your tour today!
And just as a "thank you" for making it down to the end of the blog, we've got a special discount that's good starting now through the END of March!
Type in code STPATKNOX when checking out, and you'll get 15% OFF your entire booking!
Oh, Valentine's Day...or as many people call it "Single's Awareness Day".
But you're never truly alone when you're with the one you love...and if you love food, then you're never really alone, right?!
Here's some fun and frivolous Valentine's Day facts to spice up your next conversation:
--You know the infamous Cadbury Creme Eggs? Well, Richard Cadbury, whom they are named after and invented by, actually invented the FIRST box of Valentine's Day themed chocolates in the 1880's.
--More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.
--Cherries actually belong to the rose family, making them an even more passionate fruit than we had originally thought.
--In the 1800s physicians commonly advised broken hearted patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining.
--The avocado isn’t just an excellent source of protein and healthy fat. This fruit is also an Aztec symbol of love and fertility. As if that wasn’t romantic enough, they also grow in pairs. Isn’t that sweet?
--Throughout history, chocolate has always been seen as an aphrodisiac: Madame DuBarry served chocolates to all of her suiters, Cassanova consumed chocolate instead of champagne to induce romance, and the ancient Aztec king, Montezuma believed chocolate would make him fertile.
--Starting your Valentine’s Day meal off with oysters may truly help set the mood. This seafood is considered an aphrodisiac due to its high zinc content, which is linked to testosterone production and male fertility.
--8 billion conversation hearts will be produced this year, enough candies to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona 20 times and back again.
Personally, I cannot think of a BETTER way to show that special person in your life you care about them than by giving the gift of a one-of-a-kind food tour through downtown Knoxville!
We've got unique food tours running the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before AND after the big day, and even one ON Valentine's Day!
Our standard, three hour, five restaurant "Chef's Table Tour" runs Friday February 10th, Saturday February 11th, Tuesday February 14th, Friday February 17th and Saturday February 18th.
Our more specialized, two hour, three restaurant "Sunday Bountiful Brunch Tour" runs Sunday February 12th and Sunday February 19th.
Each one of these unparalleled downtown Knoxville food tours is sure to please anyone you gift it to!
Interested in gifting a special and unique food tour to someone exceptional in your life?
If you're unable to physically be with your loved one this Valentine's Day, we've got a solution just for you!
Simply head over to our "Gift Certificates" page, and see how you can easily purchase as many of our amazing experiences as your heart desires!
As we're about to ring in 2017, make resolutions we know we won't keep, and hopefully not be too intoxicated that we need Ryan Seacrest's help to count backwards from ten, here's some fun facts about New Years and the food traditions that go along with it:
1) Black-eyed peas and greens...what's the big deal?
If you talk to a Southerner, they'll tell you eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day dates back to the Civil War. Black-eyed peas were considered in the low class of animal food, much like other types of peas were. When General Sherman's Union troops raided the Confederate food supplies, legend states they took everything but left the black-eyes peas and salted pork. The Confederates considered themselves very lucky they left those items behind, so they'd still survive through the winter. From that point, black-eyed peas became a symbol of luck.
Others will tell you that since much of the South is farmland, and black-eyed peas hold up well through the winter, they're cheap and just make sense!
An interesting note, though, is that there are records dating back to the ancient Egyptians stating that Pharaohs of the time would eat black-eyed peas, as it was considered a "meager" food, to show their humility before the gods. The thought was, you showed your meekness, and you'd be blessed, and avoid the gods wrath,
As far as preparation, black-eyed peas are often served with collard, turnip or mustard greens, with the peas symbolizing coins, and the greens symbolizing money or cash. Cornbread is also typically served with black-eyed peas, with the cornbread representing gold. Some people will even tell you to put a shiny penny or dime into the pot right before you serve the peas, and the person who receives the bowl with that coin will get the most luck in the New Year. Let's just hope no one ends up chipping a tooth, or accidentally swallows the coin, which seems to me like it might definitely be a sign of bad luck in the year to come...
2) Don't eat anything that can turn around or go backwards!
It may sound silly, but this is actually a huge superstition with many people! Pork is a very popular and tradition rich food to eat at New Years for two reasons. One, is that it was left by the Union troops during the Civil War and not stolen (see above). But another main reason is that swine cannot turn their heads to look back, therefore they're always "moving forward." They also "root" themselves into the ground before going forwards, symbolizing a rooted new year to come. So eat up that pork!
The opposite goes for lobsters, however, as they can move backwards, representing setbacks instead of good fortune for the new year. You may even run into people who tell you to avoid eating chicken (or anything that flys for that matter) on New Years, as it symbolizes your good luck and fortune flying away. Chickens in particular scratch themselves backwards as well, so there's a double no on those birds!
3) We shouldn't clean our plates?
There is also a superstition saying that you should leave a tiny bit of food on your plate at the end of the night, symbolizing you'll have plenty in the year to come. Or you can look at it as a "jumpstart" to your new years diet,..
4) If you believe in some British superstitions...
If you go to crack open eggs for any reason, be sure to crush every bit of the remaining shells. If you don't, there's a legend that a British witch will scoop them up, use them as a boat, then sail around causing storms and a string of bad luck.
5) Drink up that wine, but take careful notes with the grapes!
That's right, people over in Spain eat exactly 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, each one symobilizing a month of the year. Word has it, that if you get a particularly bad or sour one in your mouth, say, for your third grape, then March might be a rough and rocky month for you.
6) Eat something round...not square, not triangular, round!
Whether it be cakes, doughnuts, pastries, you name it, as long as it's round, you're sure to bring in a great new year, as the round shape represents things coming full circle.
7) If you're in Greece, be prepared to waste a perfectly good piece of fruit!
In Greece, as soon as the new year is here, they take a whole pomegranate and smash it (that's right, SMASH IT) on the floor. Once it's broken open and seeds are a spillin', they view it as "the more seeds, the more luck."
8) Have you practiced your slurping technique?
In Japanese and Chinese traditions, get yourself a big bowl of some type of noodle (like soba), and slurp the night away. But you only get the good luck if you can slurp the whole noodle without breaking or chewing it!
9) Let them have cake!
Let's hope you like your family, because one tradition says when baking a cake, you're suppossed to let each member of the family get a turn at mixing the cake batter, symbolizing family and togetherness. Some countries also place "special treats" inside the batter, like a candy coated nut or even a money coin into the cake batter, and whover gets that special piece when cut will have the most fortune in the year to come.
10) It may smell, but eating fish is also definitely a must!
Numerous countries and people groups also eat some type of fish for a couple of reasons. One being (similar to pigs) is that they cannot go backwards, and only swim forwards, thereby symbolizing progression and moving forward in the coming year. Some countries, like Japan, specifically eat Snapper, because of the color of the skin symbolizing good luck.
So there ya' have it, the most generally talked about and read about New Years food traditions you may come across.
Here's to hoping we can stay awake past 9pm, stop lying to ourselves about making lifestyle changes and do something else on New Year's Eve besides trying to figure out where to spend New Year's Eve.
Do you or your family have any "must have" New Years food traditions, superstitions or beliefs? Comment below and tell us about em'!
If you want to skip right to the "holiday things to do in Knoxville", just scroll down to the bottom.
"Thanksgiving is an emotional time. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they see only once a year. And then they discover once a year is way too often."--Johnny Carson.
Oh, the joys of Thanksgiving, am I right?! What's better than spending countless hours planning for one day of the year, being especially stressed out for those agonizing hours right before the big day arrives, all the have it disappear at the stroke of midnight on November 24th. And immediately when you wake up the next morning...BAM, Christmas here we come. Well, that is unless you're one of those "over achievers" who put their Christmas decorations up right after Halloween. And to you I say...
But in all seriousness, did you know there are some REALLY COOL facts about Thanksgiving, and why we eat what we eat, do what we do, and more?! Well, in case you didn't, East TN Tours is here to enlighten you! So here we go...
1) A person consumes an average of 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. Roughly 3,000 of that is for the actual meal, and 1,500 is just for snacking!
So you know how we set our clocks back each November? My advice...set your scale back 10 pounds...
2) And the food with the most calories? It's none other than the beloved pecan pie.
Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I actually really hate this kind of pie...
3) Turkey doesn’t really make you tired; the tryptophan in the meat doesn’t really take effect because of all the other amino acids present. It’s more likely that all the wine and beer you’re drinking has made you sleepy.
Ok, my husband is a doctor, so we're gonna argue with you on this one...
4) Let's face it, your history is a "little off" if you think turkey was on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. The pilgrims and Indians most likely ate things like deer meat, duck, pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie), actual cranberries (not relish!), and no, turduckens were probably not on the menu either.
I'll admit it, several years ago when I was still in high school, I convinced my mom to let us try a turducken, and it was gross....
5) This yummy holiday has actually had a long lasting effect on our society in the field of TV dinners. That's right! The TV dinner was actually invented by Swanson in 1953 because they had so much leftover turkey, and a salesman convinced them they should package it up in an aluminum tray with other sides. And BAM, the first TV dinner was born.
I can only imagine those days back in the 50's when these things first came out...families sitting around with their pop up tray tables all eating a reheated TV dinner together. I'm lucky if my husband will let me buy a lean cuisine...
6) The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States—were eaten at Thanksgiving.
Sorry, you poor, sweet birds...you don't stand a chance...
7) Black Friday is the busiest day for Roto-Rooter, a major plumbing service. They are called in to clean up “overwhelmed” sewer systems.
Ew, just ew.....
8) Not so fast. Only male turkeys, called toms, gobble. Females, called hens, cackle.
Gobble, cackle, we don't care...as long as you taste good!
9) If Ben Franklin had it his way, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle, he wrote in a letter to his daughter, had "bad moral character." A turkey, on the other hand, was a "much more respectable bird."
Ben Franklin has been right most of his life...
10) Last, but not least a quaint little poem to brighten your Thanksgiving spirits:
"May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy never have a lump.
May your yams be delicious,
May your pies take the prize.
May your Thanksgiving dinner,
Stay off of your thighs!
So are you curious about what's happening in Knoxville this holiday season? No fear! We've compiled a great list of all the fun, festive things going on in and around downtown this year:
Oh, and don't forget! East TN Tours has Chef's Table and Bountiful Brunch food tours running Thanksgiving weekend, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Slots are starting to fill up, so get yourself, family, friends and loved ones booked while you can!
Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving recipes, traditions, or funny family quirks? Comment below to tell us about them!